Applying for a Non-Immigrant Fiancé Visa

by Raymond G. Lahoud, Esquire

The U.S. government understands that relationships do not always adhere to the limits of national borders. If you and a foreign citizen wish to get married and reside together inside the United States, you must follow the strict set of laws that allow you to start the visa application process. In such circumstances, completing the fiancé K-1 non-immigrant visa allows the non-resident to come to the United States.

Steps to securing a fiancé visa

Unlike other types of non-immigrant visas—such as student or work visas—the K-1 visa is exclusively created to facilitate marriages between a U.S. citizen and foreign citizen. First, you (the sponsor) must file a petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Should USCIS approve your petition, it will be sent to the National Visa Center (NVC) where it will receive a case number before being sent to the U.S. Embassy in your partner’s country.

Once this process is complete, you and your future spouse can apply for the K-1 visa. In preparation for your partner’s visa interview, he or she will also need to complete the necessary paperwork as well as secure a passport, police certificates, current photographs, evidence of the relationship with the U.S. citizen, proof of financial support in the United States and all other relevant immigration documentation. There may also be fees that will need to be paid at this time.

Utilizing the K-1 visa to get married

It’s important to keep in mind that there is no set timeframe for this process, and it can be difficult to determine exactly how long your case review will take. However, once the partner abroad receives a K-1 fiancé visa, the process must move much more quickly.

When your future spouse secures the visa and a sealed packet of information from the U.S. Embassy, it’s time to schedule a flight to the United States! For this portion of the process, there is a time constraint. In fact, you and your partner must become legally married in the United States within 90 days of when your partner arrives in the country. If no marriage takes place within that timeframe, your partner will be required to return to his or her country of origin.

Who is eligible?

There are several criteria that must be met in order for you and your future spouse to be eligible for a K-1 visa. First, you must be a citizen of the United States. Additionally, you and your partner must be legally single and have a mutual aim to get married within the 90 days of residency permitted by the visa. More specifically, the government requires that you and your partner must have met in person a minimum of one time in the last two years, though there can sometimes be exceptions to this rule.

Filing for your partner to come to the United States is an exciting experience that can also, at times, feel nerve-wracking and complex. If you would like more information on how to bring your fiancé to the United States under the K-1 visa, contact the skilled Pennsylvania immigration and visa attorneys at Baurkot & Baurkot today.